Tidy Towns Competition

National Tidy Towns Competition

The National Tidy Towns Competition  was launched in 1958, during An Tóstal, originally a Bord Fáilte initiative the competition is organised by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government with a number of sponsors. The idea behind the Tidy Towns project was to encourage local communities to improve their local environment. Of course not every town can win the competition (Glenties, Co Donegal won the first competition) so the primary emphasis is on communities participating in the competition and by focusing on achieving long-term improvements (rather than quick-fix solutions) which will contribute to making your place a better place to live, work and visit.

The National Tidy Towns Competition is judged during the period June / July & August and the results are generally published in early September. Towns which attain a sufficiently high score in the first Adjudicators visit, will have a visit from a second Adjudicator.

Newbridge Tidy Towns Association prepares an entry form and submits it to the Tidy Towns Unit in the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government each year. The entry form is supported by a comprehensive report on developments in the town over the preceding year, and details of possible or proposed enhancements expected over the coming years.

Newbridge is entered in the “Large Urban Centre” Category “G” (i.e. Population range from 15,001 to 25,000 people).

National Awards Received

Silver Medal 2013 to 2016 inclusive.
Bronze Medals 2008 to 2012 inclusive.

National Tree Project Award (Sponsored by the Tree Council of Ireland) 2015 (Joint Winner).
National Waterside Award 2008 (Newbridge Town Park / Liffey Linear Park).
Bronze Medals 2005 to 2007 inclusive.
Race against Waste 2005 (Certificate of Excellence / Highly Commended).

The Tidy Towns Competition has evolved over the years, taking into account the changing environment – for example there would have been no mention of Recycling or WEEE in 1958, and it now covers a wide range of items on which the Town is judged. Additionally the competition parameters were changed in 2014 to reflect the changing emphasis of the competition. The organisers also made the changes to clarify and simplify the entry process, reducing the number of categories from 10 to 8 (amalgamating Tidiness and Litter Control and removing General Impression category). The overall marks available have risen by 50 to 450. More details are to be found in the Tidy Towns Handbook.

The standard of the Entry Form, Map and TidyTowns Plan are vital to a successful adjudication. Too much back up material can hinder rather than help your adjudicator so ensure your material is relevant, succinct and not out of date.

When making / preparing their entry the Tidy Towns Association must complete details of the actions taken on each of the adjudication categories (listed below), and may only include information relevant to a particular year’s competition (1st June of previous year to 31st May of entry year), unless the information is part of a multi annual plan – i.e.  a continuing project.

Initially the Adjudicator needs some background information on the Town, including Name, County, Region, and Population (at last census); this is then followed by a detailed report covering the work done during the year. The current adjudication categories (2015) are as follows:

Community Involvement & Planning
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 60 marks under this category heading.
Marks are awarded for the overall quality of the Entry Form, town/village map and appropriateness of backup material submitted with your entry. Other key issues are the participation of the local community, businesses, schools and youth in general; working partnerships with local civic agencies; works carried out and appropriate projects completed; existence of an achievable updated Tidy Towns Plan. Consideration will be given to social inclusion, whole of community approach, the role of volunteers and new residents that is apparent in activities.

Built Environment and Streetscape
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 50 marks under this category heading, and it is adjudicated under two sub-sections.

Buildings: Conservation and presentation of heritage buildings and quality of   shop-fronts:  design, sustainability,  accessibility,  usability  and suitability  of  new  structures  for  all  people regardless of age, size, ability  or  disability,  location  and  environment; treatment of derelict sites  and  unoccupied  buildings;  design,  accessibility,  usability  and suitability  of  civic  amenity buildings for all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability.

Public Spaces: Squares, parks, streetscape, paving, landscaping and street furniture;   street   lighting,  building  facade  lighting,  appropriately designed  signage and way-finding relating to streets and place nameplates, parking  locations,  historical trails, walkways and access points to local amenities  and  facilities  and  the  general  use  of  the Irish language; sustainability  and  access for all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability.

Landscaping and Open Spaces
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 50 marks under this category heading.

Appropriate planning, design, access to and management of open spaces  for all  people  regardless of age, size, ability or disability, selection and siting  of  native  trees,  shrubs  and  flowers  for year round effect and maintenance  of  planted  areas.  Presentation of roundabouts and all grass strips.

Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 50 marks under this category heading.

Raising understanding and awareness of the natural amenities in your area, including any aspects that make your area important for conservation (e.g. waterways, field boundaries, coastal features). An appreciation of how species and habitats should be best protected and managed. Provide evidence of good co-operation with expert groups and relevant authorities, especially in carrying out work in sensitive areas. Provision of access to natural areas and interpretation of key aspects.

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 50 marks under this category heading.

Describe activities on how you manage waste and promote efficient use of resources (e.g. water, energy, transport) in your community.  Provide evidence of practical steps taken to prevent or reduce waste produced across your community (e.g. householders, businesses, and schools) or how you reuse your resources.  Provide examples of awareness campaigns, events or activities hosted by the community (e.g. details of any workshops/demonstrations held since your last entry).

More details on this category can be accessed  Here

Tidiness and Litter Control
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 90 marks under this category heading, and it is adjudicated under two sub-sections

Tidiness:  General lack of clutter, blocked footpaths, redundant poles, unsightly overhead electric cables, absence of graffiti and fly-posting, and evidence of control of weed growth at kerbs. Absence of unsightly and / or inappropriate advertising, such as that on gables of buildings and mass produced advertising banners in shop fronts. Please note that although general tidiness is evaluated and marked in this category, tidiness is also considered under other categories including the Built Environment & Streetscape, Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes.

Litter: The adjudicator will assess the absence of litter and dumping, evidence of litter control strategy, including regular litter patrols, segregation of collected litter during clean-ups and promotion of anti-litter awareness throughout community.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 50 marks under this category heading.

Residential streets that include Town Houses are integral parts of towns and villages and should be treated in a similar fashion to public and private housing developments. Consideration is given to proper presentation and maintenance of all properties with due cognisance given to maintenance of frontages, boundary and gable end walls. Gardens, where applicable, should be presented to a good standard. In housing developments green areas should be cut regularly. Children’s play areas to be considered with equipment maintained to best standards. Where possible individual estates should have suitable name signs – stones, plaques, sign posts, etc. preferably bilingual. Unfinished estates will not reflect badly on the efforts of any community but examples of how the community is addressing this issue should be highlighted.

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes
The Adjudicator may award a maximum of 50 marks under this category heading.

Appropriate presentation of approach roads, including the roadside verges and their boundary treatment. The appearance of town and village streets, connecting roads, laneways, bridges and cycle lanes. Provision for inclusive access and pedestrian connections.

Additional Documents
A good quality map / sketch of the town on which the locations of work undertaken in the last year is numbered and marked. A copy of the 3-5 year development plan, and any supporting documentation / photographs (if possible before & after) you may need to support the entry form.

Adjudication & publication of the Results
Following their visit to the town, an Adjudicators Report is provided to each entrant in September, (this report is also published on the National Tidy Towns Website. The Adjudicators report will have comments on each of the adjudication categories, these comments provide additional useful advice on action needed to be taken / considered by the local Tidy Towns Association and indeed by the Local Authority.

The overall title SuperValu Tidiest Town is awarded to the entrant with the highest score in the competition, and can come from any of the population categories. In addition there are awards for the SuperValu Tidiest Village (population <1,000), SuperValu Tidiest Small Town (population 1,001-5,000), SuperValu Tidiest Large Town (population 5,001-15,000), SuperValu Tidiest Largest Urban Centre (population 15,001 and over). Gold/Silver/Bronze medals are also awarded – in Newbridge’s category G (Large Urban Centre) – they are awarded as follows:

  • Gold for marks within 20 marks of the overall winner.
  • Silver for marks within 30 marks of the overall winner.
  • Bronze for marks within 40 marks of the overall winner.

There are also a number of special awards each year – and sometimes these vary from year to year, examples of these special awards in 2016 were:

Tidy Town’s Heroes Award, Youth Award, Diversity Award, Let’s Get Buzzing Pollinator Award, Clean Air Award, Value Water Award, Gum Litter Taskforce Award, Can IT Award, Tree Project Award, Gaeltacht Award, Islands Award, Waste Prevention Award, Sustainable Development Award, Climate Change Award, Heritage Award.

The Tidy Towns Unit in the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government publish a useful Tidy Towns Handbook which can be used by Tidy Towns Groups or Residents Associations for guidance in improving their localities.

The Tidy Towns Unit can be contacted at:
Tidy Towns Unit,
Government Offices,
Co. Mayo.

Ph: 096 24309

E-mail: Tidy Towns Unit

Click Here for National Tidy Towns Website


About Us


Newbridge Tidy Towns Association is continuously working on projects designed to enhance the appearance of the town for the residents, visitors and business community.

Please explore our website - how could you become involved?

Contact us with ideas and suggestions, let us have your feedback.

Perhaps we can all work together to enhance the appearance of Newbridge

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How To Help


Work parties meet as follows:

October - March at the Watering Gates each SATURDAY morning at 9.30 am.

April - September - Meet at the Watering Gates each TUESDAY evening at 7.30 pm.

Please check our Twitter Feed for updates.

Monthly planning meeting:

Parish Centre, Station Road at 8.30 pm. on the first Wednesday of each month.

Meetings or work parties generally last one hour all are welcome.

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